Today was a strange mix of hanging out with Susie and Evan and being part of a 7/24 data conversion. I was constantly reading updates and, at the same time paying attention to Susie and then playing board games with Evan. It was a bit expensive as we tried a new grill place near Susie’s place that, while the food was good, was top-priced. Later, I had dinner out too, and Evan and I tried the Mexican place, Si Señor Mexican Restaurant, which was expensive, but this time the food and drinks matched the money. I went home after that and crashed.
Saturday started before 7, with me waking before my alarm and trying to go back to sleep–nope. I was up before the alarm. I padded over to the kitchen in my slippers, the floors are cold, and made liberal coffee with my French Press and a banana–having had a late dinner, I was not feeling the need for more than a banana. Then, I logged into work and my Apple and consumed all the email, texts, headlines, and Slack channel updates, so I would be ready for the status meetings and enjoy my day knowing what was happening in the world.
I participated in an hour of Zoom meetings from my home office. Most of the work was still happen in the evening, and there were no approvals of designs or other items for me. I just followed along. I did the short set of exercises and stretches using the new list–a few more things. These did leave me a bit winded and hungry. I showered, dressed, and packed all the computers to head to hummingbird house.
Aside: From taking my meds and doing my exercises, I was starving. I had a plain bagel in the car while driving.
Our road, Clarion, was a mess of refrozen melted snow with no plowing or treatment–the usual here in the Greater Portland Area. It was fun to take Air Volvo through the crunchy and slippery stuff. The main road, TV Highway, was wet, with part still covered with slushy snow. Folks were driving 30 mph on just wet roads and scared. Air Volvo passed many groups of cars waiting to do a pile-up and help the local economy with more bodywork. On the radio were ads for various body shops–with the unique driving skills in the area, I would expect the repair shops to be busy all year long.
The Beaverton crossover drive was actually scary. The roadways in places were shaded by pine trees, causing now washboard ice, and cars were braking (!) and sliding and having emergency lights on. Air Volvo was sliding, so I pulled more to the left where the slush was and drove past them with two good wheels–All-wheel drive. Unfortunately, there were sections of ice that were water covered and polished to a problematic level. I do not think you could walk across the ice without falling!
Despite sudden and unexpected ice, I reached Susie in Air Volvo without incident or scaring the passengers (me) in Tigard at 9925 SW 82nd. Ave. (Portland (Tigard), OR 97223; phone (503) 246-4116). Susie was thrilled to see me. Anassa, the weekend nurse aide, moved Susie to her rocking chair. We agreed on the movie Mary Poppins 2, which Susie did not remember and is not well-loved by Disney fans, but we tried it anyway. It is an enjoyable movie and follows close to the canon of the original film, but it has a troubled start with the bowl scene, and Susie did fall asleep during a goofy song and dance routine with Mary Poppins. Susie thought the movie was “fine.” Here is the best song: There is Nowhere to Go But Up.
Susie was showing signs of confusion and started again to falling asleep. She managed to talk to her mother for a bit, Leta, but she still looked sleepy or confused. Susie is safe and stable and seems happy.
After that, we left Susie with Anassa to get a snack and likely a nap. I went with a kiss and no tears in Susie’s eyes today.
Evan and I tried, as I wrote above, a new place for lunch nearby Susie, but it was not a success. So we next moved to Iron Tap Station, also nearby. It was under new management, with a couple brewing beer in their garage taking over. Evan tried their IPA and declared it the best he had had. The new owners also moved around the tables and enabled more lighting. Previously, we could only play during the day and by a window, but now we managed a couple of games even after the sun went down. Excellent.
I had their German-styled dark beer. Good.
We played two games there, and both were a bit long (one because I had to do that status meeting at 4:30 and approve some overtime and processes). We played Architects of the West Kindom, which was again in the car. It had been dumped out in Air Volvo’s cargo hold, and I repacked Architects of the West Kindom (with all add-ons and promos) and put it more carefully in the cargo hold.
I managed to win our two-person game by six points (the value of an easy building) by planning my end-game moves to build the Catherdral (having all the resources ready). It is my usual gameplay to work the Cathedral at the end of the game.
Architect of the West Kingdom is a worker placement game, with each turn being simple, but the options are vast, and the strategy is varied. The new rules from various add-ons make the gameplay less single-pathed. Overall the latest incarnation is enjoyable. But the rules and gameplay match no other game, so learning takes a bit of a while.
Next, we played a basic game of Vindication, adding Pets and Loot for the first time. After that, we decided not to add more rules (the Guild stuff). Evan had a frustrating game as I managed to take all but one proficiency tile (even with the rule you can only buy one a turn), own the best areas, and move around the gameboard, gaining more and more resources and points. Evan did manage to be ahead of my basic score when the game ended, but he was awarded no mastery tiles, and I plucked all but one. It was a crushing score that we did not bother to calculate.
Recalling the play, Evan went after a monster with one companion and no conviction and thus had no easy means to recover if the monster’s die roll was Death, which it was (having Conviction allows the player to save a companion). Adding all the promo items in the game includes more Treachery Cards, which do not count toward Mastery (but do count for some monster rewards–the Monster Card showing the backs of cards). Evan was unhappy to get one of those (he needed one of each type for his monster, which it counted for), as it did not count towards Mastery (meaning to get Mastery, he would need three more Traits, a nearly impossible task). He was frustrated much of the game. I have had luck turn against me, too; in the game, there is more luck in a two-person game.
My play was my usual style; I worked on getting Vindicated by quickly moving my potential to influence, thus avoiding running low on influence. I try to collect valuable companions (owning the first Inn) and use their powers to improve my play. I had two of the best influence-based companions, just blind luck, and explored, looking for more valuable resources. Having the best mix to collect proficiency tiles, I just went after them. My slow movement rate restrained me, but the resources giving tiles were all two steps away, so I just added resources as I moved, using them often to buy another proficiency tile and providing resources for my next turn. I played an enjoyable game of traveling the board three times.
After finishing the game, Evan and I, as I said above, had a fine dinner, and then I headed home. The roads were clear, but Air Volvo shuttered a few times as it slipped on black ice (a thin layer of perfectly smooth ice on a roadway). Nasty! The problem did not get worse, and the black ice was gone once out of Beaverton.
The snow was melting away on Clarion. The trash pickup never happened. Mail did not occur.
Well, that is all for Saturday. I was in bed early reading. But I did wake up a few times at night. A vibration in the house still wakes me from a dead sleep–I am attuned to Susie falling.
Thanks for reading.